"Reaction to Obama's school speech is tragic, sinister and sickening"
Parents are talking about keeping their kids home from school this week.
Some so-called leaders are expressing grave concern "for the children" in fear of an impending disaster.
And the provocateurs who commandeer broadcast microphones on a daily basis continue to warn of a serious contagion that the nation must fight "by any means necessary."
I could understand it if these folk were worried about the H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, but that's not their concern.
The infection they are afraid of is the president of the United States and his possible influence on America's children.
In an age when schools are wired with the latest technology, and a young, confident president knows how to use it, the White House thought it a good idea for Barack Obama to address the nation's youth. His Tuesday speech can be viewed live in the classroom or recorded and used later.
Many parents have balked at that idea and have put pressure on school administrators not to show the speech or use its proposed accompanying lesson plans. Area districts are handling the matter in different ways: some leaving it up to individual teachers, some taping it to be used on request by students or instructors and at least one that will make it available for parents' use to decide if their youngsters should view it.
It wouldn't be the first time a president has tried to inspire young people to think, to talk and to act. John Kennedy did it, as did Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Who can be a more persuasive role model for students to stay in school or commit to serving their country than the person who holds the highest office in the land?
Unfortunately for a growing number of frightened, misguided and hate-filled Americans, this president should not and must not be a role model for their children. Therefore, their young sons and daughters should not be in class — or perhaps even in school — if there's a remote possibility that the plague-spreading left-wing devil called Obama will speak to them.
They've labeled him the Antichrist who is set on desecrating the Constitution, destroying the country and annihilating their children's futures.
It is theater of the absurd, being played out in exaggerated dramatic fashion on stages large and small — in offices, backrooms, broadcast studios and on the World Wide Web.
I would find it laughable if it were not so tragic, so sinister and so sickening.
People who consider themselves intelligent, patriotic and religious have bought into this pathetic self-serving campaign to oppose Obama at every turn by plotting against any initiative he offers and continuously praying for his failure even if it would mean the downfall of their own country.
While I understand mean-spirited, partisan adults exhibiting such behavior, I can't comprehend why anyone would want to pass along such disrespectful and vitriolic traits to their children.
In an opinion column submitted to various media last week, a former Reagan administration official found it ridiculous that the lesson plan submitted for use by teachers with the Obama speech suggested discussing things like, "Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of Congress or the governor? Why is what they say important?"
Peggy Venable, now Texas director for a group called Americans for Prosperity, said, "That's enough to send chills down my spine. Schoolchildren should not be indoctrinated in obedience to and service in support of the president of the United States."
The former White House liaison for the U.S. Department of Education went on to object to an earlier plan that students be encouraged to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.
"It appears to be nothing short of training our children to support Obama policies," she said. "When the recruits are children, doesn't that constitute indoctrination, even brainwashing?"
Such critics give teachers and students, including their own, very little credit for being able to think and intelligently debate the issues of the day.
Students throughout the nation have been writing the White House for months in efforts to express their concerns to Obama. Hundreds of thousands of them already are engaged in communication with the president. That is a very healthy and encouraging sign — and a great educational experience.
It is too bad that those caught up in what they regard as a socialist conspiracy to destroy our democratic society are infecting their children with the disease of intolerance.
And believe me, just like the swine flu, intolerance is contagious.